Categories of Burn and Scald Injuries

Burns are categorised according to severity and fall into three categories:

First Degree Burns

These are minor burn injuries which make the skin red due to the harm caused to its top layer, but the burn is not serious enough to make the skin blister. There will be some pain felt but it should not last for too significant an amount of time.

Second Degree Burns

These burns tend to be a lot more painful than first degree burns but can be serious enough to entirely wipe out groups of nerves under the skin, making the injuries not as painful as the severity suggests but with serious risk factors from the effects of the injury.

The skin is likely to turn bright red and blister and a victim is at risk of infection. Furthermore, the skin will look moist because of the fluids that are lost through the site of the burns and a burns victim may go into shock due to a loss of fluid if the burns cover an area greater than 10% of the body.

Third Degree Burns

This is the most severe type of burn which totally destroys all of the layers of the skin, causing damage to all underneath it, including muscle, tendons, and ligaments and, on more rare occasions, bone.

Here, most nerve groups in the affected area are destroyed, so a victim may not suffer any pain in those areas; nevertheless, they will often be at risk of death. These burns will often require skin grafts and will almost definitely leave widespread scarring.